News Footage Of The United Airlines O'Hare Traffic Jam


Here’s a CBS 2 Chicago news report on the United Airlines computer glich that caused a huge traffic jam at O’Hare airport, and delays nationwide.

Airplanes were still allowed to land at O’Hare even though there were no available jetways at the United terminal. Wow, this looks like fun! —MEGHANN MARCO

Computer Failure Stalls United Airlines Flights [WBBM]

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  1. CaptainConsumer says:

    Don’t look at it as a glitch or an inconvnience, look at it as a way to make new friends. I mean, you’ve got time….

  2. Pelagius says:

    Could be worse. You could be stuck on a 7-hour Continental flight with raw sewage flowing down the aisle.

  3. Limecrete says:

    I’ve been getting e-mails at work all day from some automatic notifier at United, updating the information on my flight from Minneapolis to Chicago.

    Which would be great, if I were in either of those cities. Or had planned a flight from one to the other. Or had ever flown United in my life.

  4. Wormfather says:

    Hey consumerist peoples, see that link from pelagius. That’s money right there, go ahead, make a post she wont mind.

  5. hypnotik_jello says:

    @Pelagius: oh my god. they couldn’t turn around and land? what total bollocks

  6. webothlikesoup says:

    @Limecrete:

    Apparently, you can either have sewage running down the aisles, super-crappy service from US Air, or random updates about a flight you’re not on. Thems the choices.

  7. Youthier says:

    @Pelagius: Shouldn’t this headline be “People Take 7 Hour Flighy in Raw Sewage for Free”? Seriously, these people have to get a refund.

  8. Buran says:

    @hypnotik_jello: The notion that a plane can’t turn back due to being over water is false. More likely the corporate bosses (sitting in a building far away) refused to let him turn back.

    But in the end the captain is responsible for everyone on board, and could have told them to stuff it.

  9. enm4r says:

    @Buran: Yeah, the over the ocean thing is completely false. Especially it it happened relatively early in the flight. One my worse flight experience ever (much too long to tell) I was on a plane from Korea to Australia. A man had a heart attach about 2 hours into the flight, and we turned around. No questions asked, over the middle of the Pacific, and we turned around. I’m pretty sure the excuse of “but we were over the ocean!” wouldn’t fly.

  10. ChrisC1234 says:

    I’ve never understood WHY a glitch like this can ground all of their flights. It seems like they’d have enough information to reasonably make the flights… Flight attendants and pilots should know where they are supposed to fly. Customers know where they are supposed to fly, what time they leave. Ok, so MAYBE you’d need people at the gates collecting copies of ID, boarding passes (If you happened to print one before everything went down) and credit cards (just in case someone snuck on without a ticket). Yes it would be a hassle, but they wouldn’t lose nearly as much money doing that (even if only 75% of their passengers were accommodated) than they will paying everyone they screwed over.

  11. AcidReign says:

    …..Isn’t Chicago getting temps in the 90s this week? Boy, I’ll bet that was FUN sitting on the tarmac in a tin can, in the sun for two hours, plus!

  12. bedofnails says:

    @ChrisC1234:

    “I’ve never understood WHY a glitch like this can ground all of their flights. It seems like they’d have enough information to reasonably make the flights… Flight attendants and pilots should know where they are supposed to fly. Customers know where they are supposed to fly, what time they leave. Ok, so MAYBE you’d need people at the gates collecting copies of ID, boarding passes…

    Um, maybe because the glitch had to do with the measurements of fuel. MAYBE this is an important step in the whole flight process.

    ….

  13. ChrisC1234 says:

    @bedofnails: Ok… So I couldn’t actually watch the video while at work… but after watching it now, it says that the computer that went down “records weight and balance and tracks fuel”. Honestly, it sounds like they could just manually check the weight and balance (or do away with all cargo and avoid the need for that) and just TOP OFF every tank.

    It just seems like all of the airlines have no contingency plans for ANYTHING.

  14. nonsequiturmine says:

    Actually, balance and mass is incredibly important for flight. For example, if the flight is less than full and there are more people sitting in front than in back (or on the left or right side), the cargo will have to be shifted to keep the balance (or they can fill the tank on one wing more than the other). This gets complicated and is done by the computer system. It is completely invisible to passengers. Personally, I wouldn’t like it if my plane flipped over due to a balance issue.

  15. SexCpotatoes says:

    couldn’t they just drive the plane to the destinations, well, besides the overseas ones…

  16. TWinter says:

    For what it’s worth – I (and thousands and thousands of other people on other flights) once sat on a Northwest flight in Detroit for over an hour waiting to leave the gate because the computer that calculated weight and balance had gone down. That was eight or nine years ago, but it got zero news coverage.

  17. FatLynn says:

    This is really bizarre, because I was on a United flight that landed at O’Hare yesterday afternoon, and it took off about half an hour late, but made up time, and landed right on time. I had no idea that any of this was happening on the ground. I’m surprised they would have been able to totally recover by 3pm.